UIC Hangs Tough in 1-0 Loss Against No. 13 UCSB

Junior Jesus Torres
Junior Jesus Torres

Sep 1, 2013

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CHICAGO – The UIC men’s soccer team fought tooth and nail against No. 13 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon at Flames Field, but a lone goal in the first period by the Gauchos proved to be the difference maker as the Flames fell, 1-0. 

“We are always disappointed with a loss,” said head coach Sean Phillips.  “I think our overall performance was good considering the fact that we played a nationally-ranked opponent for our first regular season game.  The lesson we have to take away from today is that if we want to beat these programs then we have to take our chances.”

The Flames actually out-shot the Gauchos by a tally of 6-5 and had two strikes on goal.  UIC had a great opportunity to score in the first period as senior Slobodan Aleksov connected on a header that bounced off the crossbar and out of play.  Junior Jesus Torres nearly punched in a goal in the second half on a hard kick less than 10 yards in front of the net that went straight into the waiting arms of the UCSB goalie.

“In many instances our players went toe-to-toe with them and I thought we created some pretty good chances,” said Phillips.  “We are going to have to find a way to score some of those goals.”

Santa Barbara collected the game’s only score at the 39:03 mark of the first period as senior Goffin Boyoko netted a header that was crossed by teammate Armand Bagramyan.  Boyoko has three goals in just two contests so far this season.

“Santa Barbara was able to capitalize on one of our few mistakes made by our backs,” said Phillips.  “Our passing was not as sharp as it was in the preseason and credit that to Santa Barbara.  Today was a very good initial gauge for our guys.”

The non-conference matchup did feature nine yellow cards, including seven for UCSB.  In the second half, Gauchos’ head coach Tim Vom Steeg was ejected after receiving his second yellow card.

The Flames resume action next Friday at 7 p.m. CT at home against city-rival DePaul.